How your nervous system is affecting your sleep
If you feel anxious and wired yet exhausted most of the time, you’re stuck in fight or flight mode!
You have 2 branches in your autonomic nervous system: the sympathetic and parasympathetic. You want to be in parasympathetic mode most of the time because this is a state of calm and relaxation. The sympathetic part is the stress mode, or fight or flight. Trying to sleep in this state is very hard because your body is releasing cortisol and adrenaline to help you deal with the stress it’s under.
Even if you don’t feel stressed most of the time, you can be stuck in fight or flight mode if you have stressors happening inside your body that you don’t know about.
Let’s say you get a parasite and your gut isn’t healthy enough to fight it off. That parasite is going to cause inflammation as it grows and releases toxins. Your body will release cortisol to deal with that inflammation because it’s an anti-inflammatory hormone. Parasites are most active at night, so it’s a common reason why my clients wake up at 3 or 4am and have a hard time falling back asleep.
As that parasite grows and multiplies, your body is going to make more and more cortisol to deal with the inflammation. When cortisol is high, it can affect your sleep. But it also feels good because cortisol is a pain killer, it helps you focus and it gives you energy.
Your body needs the same nutrients to make cortisol as it does to make sex hormones. Over time, your body won’t have enough resources to make sex hormones and so your hormones get out of balance and cause unpleasant symptoms. You may get your hormones checked by your doctor and take bio-identical hormones or HRT. But you aren't getting to the root of why your hormones are out of balance in the first place.
As time goes on, your body won’t be able to make enough cortisol to deal with all the stress you’re under. The parasite was causing stress. Now the hormone imbalance is causing even more stress. Then other systems in your body start to break down depending on your unique body and genes. Some people (like us) develop sleep issues. For others, these imbalances manifest as fatigue or digestive problems or skin issues like eczema.
If you don’t start correcting these stressors in your body, eventually you'll develop diseases and disorders like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and autoimmunity.
Luckily, your body has the amazing ability to heal itself. But you have to know what’s going on in your body to know what to fix. If you want to know what could be happening in your body that’s keeping you awake at night, book a free call with me.